Friday, August 6, 2010
UK Buddhist Chaplain to the Gurkhas
Recently I had the honor of meeting with Acharya Chewang Gurung, who serves as a civilian Buddhist chaplain for the UK Armed Forces. He is visiting Afghanistan to minister to Gurkha soldiers. Gurkhas are Nepalese, and have a long and proud history of service in the British military. Many Gurkhas practice Buddhism, also Hinduism, and a minority are Christians or other faiths; I've been told that Gurkhas do attend each others' services, with Buddhist Gurkhas attending Hindu services, and vice versa. Nepalese Buddhism is primarily Mahayana; there has been some scholarship on Nepalese Buddhism, but still is a new field of study. We had a good discussion, and hopefully will continue to meet and assist with ministering to Buddhist servicemembers wherever they are.